FAU assistant reported coaches used cocaine

The abrupt resignations of FAU football coach Carl Pelini and his defensive coordinator came after an assistant coach stated in an affidavit that he observed both men using marijuana and cocaine, the Sun Sentinel has learned.

Two sworn affidavits, obtained by the Sun Sentinel late Friday after a records request, state defensive line coach Matt Edwards and Allison Stewart, who is affiliated with the football program, both observed Pelini smoking marijuana.

Edwards also stated in an affidavit he saw Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis use cocaine within the past year.

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Both Edwards and Stewart claim they saw Pelini using marijuana during a three-day coaches' trip to Key West from Oct. 18-20. Stewart also said in her affidavit that she had received a text message from Pelini admitting to drug use.


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Sources tell the Sun Sentinel that Rekstis was set to sign a sworn affidavit detailing his and Pelini's drug use, but he ultimately declined to sign the document in a meeting Friday afternoon.

FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun said during a phone interview with the Sentinel Friday confirmed that Rekstis did not sign an affidavit. Chun also confirmed that he had been in contact with Rekstis, but he declined to comment further on Rekstis' statements about drug use by the coaching staff.

Calls to Pelini, his representative and Rekstis were not returned.

Chun told the Sun Sentinel he investigated the assistant coach's claims immediately. Chun found evidence of drug use by both men, which led him to confront both coaches.

Pelini and Rekstis resigned Wednesday, two days after Chun said the drug allegations first came to light.

Accompanied by campus police Wednesday morning, Chun approached Pelini and Rekstis as they walked off FAU's practice fields following the football team's morning practice.

Chun, after showing Pelini and Rekstis the signed statements, then offered drug tests to both men. Chun said they admitted to the drug use, which is a violation of their contracts with the school. Both resigned their positions.

Chun, during a phone interview on Friday, refused to elaborate on the details of the meeting.

Chun named offensive coordinator Brian Wright the team's interim head coach upon Pelini's resignation. The Owls play Tulane Saturday, FAU's homecoming contest. The game has major implications for the program, which needs a victory to earn an opportunity to play in the postseason.

While Chun met with Rekstis and Pelini individually on Wednesday, FAU's other assistant coaches were in the Founders Lounge at FAU's football facility, where Pelini had held his weekly press conference only two days earlier.

Police asked assistant coaches if they had seen Pelini and Rekstis use drugs, and sources close to the program told the Sun Sentinel that there were additional confirmations.

Chun said Friday that he has not been in contact with Pelini since the resignation.

dkurtenbach@tribune.com